Nick Berry

How to Improve Cold Email Deliverability and Avoid Spam Filters

How to Improve Cold Email Deliverability and Avoid Spam Filters

Let’s face it. We’ve all been there – eagerly opening our email inbox only to find it flooded with unsolicited emails about life-changing opportunities from a Nigerian prince. Not what you signed up for, right? That, my friends, is spam, an unwelcome cousin of the effective, purpose-driven hero of our story: cold email marketing.

Cold email marketing is like that uninvited yet surprisingly charming guest at a party. It’s an unsolicited email, yes, but it’s not spam. This form of communication, particularly favored by B2B companies, is targeted, personalized.

Email Filters and Spam Folder

Let’s start with email filters. A few years ago, our primary defense against spammers were keyword, ip, and domain blacklist tools installed at the server level protecting our inboxes from the villainous boner pill spammers. These filters did us well at the time. But inbox filtering tools have gotten much smarter, they focus more on reputation, and authentication. As most of corporate America has moved to cloud based email tools, the filtering has gotten much better. Large email providers like Google and Microsoft even pay attention to things like bounce, open, and reply rates on all senders.

Factors Affecting Email Deliverability

Do you know why the first thing I do when you join my newsletter is have you reply to my welcome email? That’s all about building reputation with your email server. Your sender reputation holds the key to email deliverability. It’s like your online street cred. If you’ve been labeled a spammy miscreant, your chances of reaching the inbox are about as slim as fitting into your old high school jeans. Your IP reputation and domain reputation also play a role here. But if you have people opening and replying to a lot of your emails, you’re more likely to be delivered to the networks inboxes.

Tips for Avoiding the Spam Folder

First things first, clean your lists. A high bounce rate is a huge red flag to an email server. It’s like assembling a dream team for a successful mission. Nobody likes uninvited guests crashing their party. Craft subject lines that are catchy, but not clickbait-y. You’re not a desperate internet marketer trying to sell miracle weight-loss pills. Keep your content relevant and engaging. Nobody wants to read a snooze-fest disguised as an email. And please, for the love of all things spam-free, avoid trigger words and phrases like “URGENT” and “Limited Time Offer.” You’re not fooling anyone.

Email Authentication and Reputation Management:

Let’s talk about SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. They’re like the bouncers checking your ID at the door, making sure you’re not a shady character. Implement these authentication protocols, and your emails will carry a seal of trustworthiness. But it doesn’t stop there. Monitor your sender reputation like a hawk. If it starts resembling that of a used car salesman, take immediate action. Nobody wants their emails associated with dodgy characters.

List Hygiene and Compliance

Maintaining a clean email list is like keeping your house tidy. Sweep away the dust bunnies of inactive subscribers and remove those who wish to bid you adieu. Unsubscribes should be treated like breakups – swiftly and respectfully. And please, follow the rules. Anti-spam laws are there for a reason. Don’t be the cowboy who thinks they’re above the law. Nobody likes a rogue email sender. I always recommend removing any role based emails like info@ or service@ addresses.

Testing and Monitoring:

Deliverability tests are like dress rehearsals for your emails. Before sending them off into the wild, put them through their paces. Keep an eye on email metrics and engagement rates. Are your emails getting more love than a viral cat video? Fantastic! Are they as lonely as a hermit crab at a disco? Time to reassess and tweak your strategy. I use an awesome tool GlockApps to test my email deliverability.

A quick and dirty way to test if your email is ending up in spam is to send a campaign out on a federal holiday. You’ll get a lot of out of office replies, and if they’re in spam there will be a [SPAM] tag on it. 

Email Providers

Since we’re talking about cold email, don’t think about companies like ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp or Constant Contact. All of the major email marketing companies explicitly do not allow cold/unsolicited emails in their system, and trust me they’ll find out and they will boot you immediately. Despite what you might have heard, do not under any circumstances use your CRM to send out cold email campaigns. For this we’re going to want to have a Google Workspace or Office365 account (separate from your primary email account).

Cold Email Software

Your Google Workspace or Office365 accounts are just the providers, you still need a client to send, manage and coordinate your email campaigns, I’ve tried a lot, but these three are my favorites:

  • LemList
  • Mailshake
  • Instantly.ai

All three have their pros and cons (that I’ll cover later), but they pretty much all operate the same, you setup your email provider account, connect to their system, and start creating your email campaigns, upload your lists, and viola, you’ve got your cold email up and running with some technical setup.

Continuous Improvement and Best Practices

The email landscape is ever-evolving, like a shape-shifting chameleon. Stay in the loop, my friend. Keep up with industry trends and changes. Implement strategies that ensure your email game is always on point. Benchmark against best practices, but remember to add your own spice. Be the email deliverability rockstar you were born to be.

Equipped with this arsenal of knowledge, you’re now poised to seize control of the inbox kingdom and catapult your business to extraordinary heights. Say goodbye to the spam folder’s menacing clutches and hello to a thriving email campaign that commands attention and delivers real results. It’s time to unleash the full potential of your cold emails and watch your business flourish like never before. So, go forth, my friend, armed with determination, wit, and the power of impeccable deliverability. The sky’s the limit, and your success awaits! May your emails be opened, engaged with, and your business soar to new horizons. Now, take the leap and let your cold email conquest begin!

If this sounds like a pain in the ass, have I got something for you.

Take the hassle out of cold email campaigns with my specialized service, designed to drive results for your insurance agency. This covers everything from technical aspects to creating compelling email copy that prompts leads to action. You focus on running your agency; we’ll handle the rest. Ready to supercharge your outreach? Let’s connect and unlock the power of effective cold email campaigns.

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